Thursday, January 14, 2016

Let's Go Fishin'

Today, I had a teacher send me an email.

The contents of said email were, and I quote...."Are you up for a challenge?"  Followed by this picture...

Come to find out, the class is holding a contest.  

The Goal:  Pull out (with a rather flimsy fishing pole) all of the fish.  
The Winner:  He/She who can do it in the shortest amount of time.  

I can't wait to see the extensions she is going to be able to do with her students with the data gathered from this fun contest!  

Anyways, being the ultimate competitor (sore loser) that I am, and the fact that I am basically a professional deep water fisherman...

I thought, "What the heck, let's fish!"  and walked rather briskly down to the room.

I did alright.  Finished in 3 minutes 7 seconds and am sitting pretty comfortably in 2nd place.  No excuses.  It took me a minute to figure it out and was my first time playing, OK!

While walking back to  my room, my brain starts to process what just happened and I am taken aback by what I am thinking.  Did a game designed for 4+ year olds just teach me a lesson?

Here's what it taught me.  These fish spin around and around and around while, seemingly randomly, they slowly open their mouth hopefully in enough time for you to put the hook in.  I started to notices that there was a pattern to when they would open their mouth and that helped.  But still, it was hard.  You had to time it just right or the fish would close its' mouth to live yet another revolution.  You are trying to catch these fish as quickly as possible, so as not to be shown up by a bunch of 3rd graders.  Your eyes scan the pond and as soon as you see a fish open its mouth, you go for it, and more often than not, you will be too late.  Finally, I start picking a fish and following it as it went around, ignoring all if its friends and waiting patiently for an opportunity to snag it.  I don't take my eye off that fish, no matter if the mouth is open or not.  I follow it like stole something from me.  Perhaps my pride?  Boom, one down.  Bang, two.  Bada Bing, three, so on and so forth.    Finally, the pond is clear and I am satisfied.

I'm going to go WAY out on a limb here to draw parallels between Let's Go Fishin' and life.  We've all got a lot of problems to solve.  Life throws curve balls at you when you least expect it and sometimes it feels like they are coming at the same time from a bunch of different directions.  It is SO EASY to become overwhelmed with EVERYTHING you have to get done.  Let's Go Fishin' just reinforced in my life the importance of focusing on just one thing at a time.  Pick a problem, ignore all the other noise, dominate said problem, then move on to the next one.  Rinse and repeat.

Of course we are all very busy and often times we are called upon to multitask and having the ability and flexibility to do so is an extremely important skill to have.  But,  I am suggesting that we all just SLOW DOWN a bit.  Be mindful of the problems in your life.  Try to prioritize the problems and the resources it will take to solve them.  Pick one and go.

It's better to dive head first into one problem than to belly flop into a sea of them.

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